The art of creating pottery figurines has grown throughout the centuries. One of the effects of the cultivation of this craft was the creation of pottery design houses. One such was the Goebel house, founded in 1879 by Franz Detleff Goebel and his son. It was this house that gave the Franciscan nun, Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel a chance to create her now famous Goebel figurines, also known as Hummel figurines.
If you have ever seen a figurine of a child or child angel carrying out a task, and they were set on a simple white circular base, then you may have already seen some Hummel figurines. These porcelain creations are one of the best sellers of the Goebel line, and are in fact the figurines which boosted their popularity and prestige in the United Sates. Prior to the Hummel figurines, Goebel figurines could only claim local and some European popularity.
To identify a Goebel piece, it is important that you look at the bottom of the figurine’s base. It should have some of the porcelain marks which distinguish it as a Goebel. A double crown mark dates it older than 1964. If you see the name “Goebel”, you are looking at a figurine created from 1964 onwards. Other marks, such as a bee on top of the word “Goebel” and the word Germany underneath tell you that the figurine is older than 1991. Finally, a “Hummel” signature at the bottom of the piece will tell you that you are holding a figurine that was created (at the very latest) in 1937, which was when Sister Maria Innocentia passed away. Up until her passing, she signed all the Hummel figurines.
The value of your figurine will depend on how old it is, which can be determined by its porcelain marks. When the Goebel company declared bankruptcy in 2006 and closed its doors in 2008, the existing Goebel figurines became even more sought after and more expensive than before. As is the case with most collectibles, their value increases each year, with some figurines being sold for thousands of dollars on eBay! The sad turn of events only boosted the company’s prestige because collectors know that they will no longer have access to the delicate and careful craftsmanship the company was known for. This means that if you have a Goebel, it is well worth hanging on to!
This quick look at Goebel figurines tells us that pottery figurines, such as Hummel figurines, are here to stay. Pieces like these only increase in value as they get older, even more so when the design house is dissolved, or when the type of craftsmanship put into the piece can no longer be duplicated. If you are a figurine collector, it would be wise for you to take great care of your existing collection.